As with any other form of treatment, mesotherapy can have side effects. Some mild and transient side effects that may occur after a mesotherapy session include swelling, bruising and pain or itching at the injection site. These typically subside in a few hours to a few days. One compound that causes such swelling when injected is the compound lecithin. Some mesotherapists recommend the homeopathic drug arnica to reduce swelling. However, its action has not been scientifically proven. Patients may be advised to wear loose-fitting clothing, and to avoid exercise for up to two or three days following a mesotherapy treatment.
Other side effects at the injection site can include scarring, pigmentation or ulcer formation. Sometimes, patients may feel a small lump under the injection site, which reduces or disappears after a few weeks. When non-sterile injection techniques are used, infections may occur, some of which may be potentially serious. Most of these infections have been reported from some South American countries, where unlicensed individuals administer mesotherapy treatments. It is therefore preferable to receive mesotherapy from a board-certified physician who practices good infection control.
Mesotherapy patients may have local or systemic allergic reactions to any of the compounds that are injected. These can range from mild to potentially life-threatening. Trained clinicians know how to recognize such reactions, and can promptly administer appropriate treatment. This is another reason it is advisable to go to reputable mesotherapy specialist. There are occasional reports of unusual skin conditions, including psoriasis, in the scientific literature. Some of these are attributed to the mixing of compounds that may interact with each other.